Hyderabad: Former left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha has announced his formal retirement from International & first-class cricket on Friday. Pragyan, played 24 tests, 18 ODIs for India and over a 100 first class games.
Born in Odisha, Pragyan Ojha first started playing cricket at the age of 10. He then moved to Hyderabad and started his coaching under Vijay Paul. He made his Ranji debut back in 2004-05. He first broke on to the scene in 2006-07 Ranji season when he picked 29 wickeys in 6 games.
He made his ODI debut in 2008 against Pakistan and had a decent outing with 2 wickets. He then went on to make his Test debut the following year against Srilanka by replacing Amit Mishra. He was impressive in his first two tests as he picked 9 wickets at the average of 28.66. He then became a part of the World Record as he was Muttiah Muralidharan’s 800th Test wicket, the most by any bowler.
Ojha was also impressive in his T20 Debut against Bangladesh and took a 4-wicket haul, eat himself the Man of the Match award. He then went onto pick 100 test wickets for India, a memorable feat. He was also the Man of the Match in Sachin Tendulkar’s last test against the Westindies for his 10-wicket haul.
He was also involved in a memorable partnership with VVS Laxman in the Mohali Test against Australia back in 2010, which India went on to win by 1 wicket.
He also played for two IPL franchises, Deccan Chargers & the Mumbai Indians where he was the highest wicket taker in the third edition of the tournament. He also won the Purple cap for his performance. Pragyan Ojha was also the part of IPL winning teams on three occasions, once with the Deccan Chargers and twice with the Mumbai Indians. He also grabbed a lot of praises for his performances from Adam Gilchrist, his skipper while playing for the Deccan Chargers.
He also played over a 100 List A & First class matches where he was associated with Hyderabad Cricket Association for close to 14 years, The Cricket association of Bengal & the Bihar cricket association.
Pragyan Ojha, announcing his retirement from International & first-class cricket in an emotional letter as he wrote – ” To be an Indian cricketer, and represent the country at the highest level was always a dream I cherished as a youngster. I fall short of words to describe how fortunate I have been to have lived my dream and earned the love and respect of my fellow countrymen. For a sportsperson, there cannot be a greater reward. ”
In continuation of the letter, he also thanked BCCI, Hyderabad cricket association, Cricket association of Bengal, Bihar Cricket association for their support and belief.
He also thanked his first franchise, the Deccan Chargers with whom he won the 2009 IPL. He also mentioned the Purple Cap as an indelible memory. He thanked his franchises Mumbai Indians and Deccan Chargers.
Ojha also specially mentioned VVS Laxman as his elder brother, Venkatapathy Raju for being his role model, fellow spinner Harbhajan Singh as his constant adviser & his skipper, MS Dhoni for providing him with oppurtunies.
He also thanked Rohit Sharma & Manoj Tiwary as his contemporaries. He also thanked his Hyderabad team mates, Mr Arjun Yadav, his first captain, Sachin Tendulkar for giving him his Test cap.
He also mentioned his family, his parents Mr Maheshwar Ojha, Mrs Bidulata Ojha, his wife, Mrs Karabee Kailash & his younger brother Prateek, His uncle & aunt Mr. Chakradhar Moharana & Mrs Gitisudha Moharana.